Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Lou Reed: "I Dunno, What's The Difference?"

In 1974, Lou Reed flew to Sydney to perform two sold out concerts. As part of the trip, Lou was forced to endure a ridiculous press conference where he was cross-examined by a group of Australian news reporters.

The interview is done in a style reminiscent to the Warhol school of deadpan "show-no-emotion" answers. Lou turns the tables on the redneck Australian journalists, and comes off cooler than Marlon Brando in a scene straight out of the "The Wild One."

Reporter: "Could I put it bluntly... parden the question, but are you a transvestite or a homosexual?"

Lou: "Sometimes."

Reporter: "Which one?"

Lou: "What's the difference?"

Peter Gabriel champions Emmanuel Jal at the 46664 Nelson Mandela Concert

I was fortunate to attend the 4664 Nelson Mandela concert in London's Hyde Park on Friday June 27th.

The low points of the concert included Amy Winehouse, the Sugarbabes and Leona Lewis. And why was Gerri Spice standing beside Nelson Mandela when he made his speach?

The highlight of the show was totally unexpected, and went to the former Sudanese child soldier turned rapper, Emmanuel Jal. He blew the 50,000 strong crowd down, with a lovely introduction by none other than Peter Gabriel, who proclaimed him as “having the potential of a young Bob Marley.”

Jal's Mandela performance was timely, as it dovetailed his forthcoming digital download single, 'Emma' (keep checking iTunes), released from 22nd July.

Featured on the Sudanese rapper's new album ‘Warchild’, ‘Emma’ is dedicated to the British Aid worker Emma McCune, who rescued Emmanuel Jal from a continued existence as a child soldier.

Emma adopted Emmanuel and smuggled him to Kenya to begin a new life, where he could grow up safe and get an education. A few months later Emma died in a car accident.

“I met the next artist about 3 years ago and was enormously impressed with this young man from Sudan,” said Peter Gabriel, as he introduced Emmanuel Jal at the 46664 Nelson Mandela concert.

“His brutal childhood as a 7 year old child soldier taught him to be a mindless killing machine. People expected Mandela to come out of 27 years in jail calling for revenge but he came out calling for forgiveness, compassion and collaboration.”

"This next artist came out of the horror of a brutal war, a brutal childhood with a clear voice calling out against violence, hatred and materialism. He’s gonna have a huge influence in the world way beyond his music."

"He’s still developing and exploring his musical voice, but I think you have the opportunity to see someone with the potential of a young Bob Marley… Please give an enormous welcome to the amazing Emmanuel Jal.”

But this was no ordinary hype. Not even the likes of Queen and Paul Rodgers or Amy Winehouse could compete against the killer combination of Emmanuel Jal and Peter Gabriel. Along with Simple Minds and Eddy Grant, these were the only other artists that truly displayed pure "masterclass" at the Mandela event.

It came to no surprise then when the Daily Telegraph newspaper acknowledged Emmanuel Jal's explosive contribution to the Mandela bash.

"Some of the most memorable moments at the Mandela concert were the least expected. Peter Gabriel popped up to introduce Sudanese rapper and ex-boy soldier Emmanuel Jal, whose vivid and eloquent performance suggested the arrival of a star-in-waiting." - Adam Sweeting, Daily Telegraph

“His story demands to be heard” – Mojo

“Emmanuel Jal was electric (at Mandela).” – London Evening Standard

Emmanuel Jal on tour / Summer 2008:
* July 12th - Rising Styles Hiphop festival in Brighton
* July 13th - Rise Festival in Finsbury Park, London
* Aug 4th - 9th - Afrikadey Festival in Calgary, Canada
* Aug 16th - 17th - the V Festival
* Aug 22nd - the Greenbelt Festival, Cheltenham, UK